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Monday, February 20, 2012

The Month of Luuuuuv

My daughter, who is in Pre-K, learned a very important lesson in school this month. Her teacher taught her that February is the "month of love." Now, my daughter says it like this, "Feb-rooary is the month of luuuuuuuv," and she makes her fingers form a heart shape as she says it. For those of us who write about love, every month is the month of luuuuuuuv. But this month in particular really stood out as being all about true love.

I have a lot of contact with the Atlanta blues community for another project I'm working on. And I found out that Carlos Capote, who is the front man for a local band called The Breeze Kings, has been in need of a kidney transplant for years. I've never known anyone on a transplant list, but I can imagine that the wait must be agonizing. But there is a way to shorten the process, known as "paying it forward." You can learn more about the "paying it forward" process here.

The miraculous thing is that Carlos did receive his kidney through paying it forward. A donor whom he never met donated her kidney and Carlos' wife donated one of hers to another person on the transplant list. You can see the whole story for yourself here.

Now that's true love. Not only did a complete stranger give up her kidney, but Terri gave up one of hers to help out another. All of the surgeries took place this month, the month of luuuuv. Talk about happily-ever-afters--we writers cannot come up with better endings than this.

Because Terri and Carlos won't be able to work for a while after the surgery, and they have two small children to support, a Fundly account has been established to help them take care of their medical bills at http://fundly.com/capotefamily.

So, let's talk about paying it forward. How do you show love for others--even people you've never met? For every unique comment this blog receives, a dollar will be donated to the Capote family fund.

51 comments:

  1. Lily ~ I've been sitting here a while, trying to figure out how to answer you. There are a million ways I love the people I know, my friends and family. But how do I send love to those I don't know? I think I finally figured it out - and maybe I'd be a better person if I'd had an answer right away, or maybe it's still too early in the day for my mind to properly function. :) Either way, I do have an answer (Whew!)

    The way I "pay it forward" to society at large is in two ways... (1) I donate to charity. Last year the charity of choice was the ovarian cancer research. The year before it was leukemia research. (2) I give blood about once a year when the bloodmobile comes to my office complex.

    Great blog post. Here's hoping you get tons of comments today!

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    1. Thanks for commenting, Ava! And good for you for donating both money and blood to the causes you believe in!

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  2. You forgot one, Ava! One of my favorite parts of our Lady Jane's Salon Raleigh Durham is that we donate to two fabulous charities: The Shout Against the Whisper Campaign to fight ovarian cancer and the Wake County Libraries. All the work you do behind the scenes is another way you pay it forward!

    Lily, thank you for reminding us how important it is to to help others! I hope we can rally lots of support for you today!

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    1. See it *is* too early for my mind to work properly. Thanks, Deb!

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    2. One of my favorite things this past holiday season was the news coverage of the many anonymous donors across the nation who paid off poor families' Christmas layaways at Kmart. Love that!

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    3. I heard those stories too, Deb! Loved it!

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    4. I like giving behind the scenes too, Deb. Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. We give to charities that deal with hunger world-wide, Stop Hunger Now, and locally, Raleigh's Inter-faith Food Shuttle. We also give to charities for luxuries that help the spirit as well. This past week, we donated to send a child to camp through the Duke Children's Hospital. Thinking of giving a sick child the opportunity to catch fireflies and make smores makes me smile.

    Thanks again to everyone posting. Giving me great ideas for the future!

    Peace, Julie

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    1. I love the idea sending a sick kid to children's camp, Julie. I didn't know Duke offered that. Thanks for sharing!

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  4. Lily, that's an amazing story! I've never heard of being able to do that for transplants. It's a fantastic way to help your loved one by helping others.

    Thanks for calling our attention to this!

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    1. Isn't it though? Thanks for stopping by.

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  6. Lily,

    What a great story! Like Ava, I'm having a hard time coming up with an answer. For me, I feel like I could be doing more. Every year I volunteer for the neighborhood drive to raise money for Leukemia and Lymphoma research.

    I help take care of terminally ill people and support their families, but it doesn't feel like paying it forward since it's my job. Still, I love the work and it fulfills me. When I'm no longer working as a social worker, I want to become a hospice volunteer. :)

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    1. I think your work in your community definitely counts as paying it forward, Samantha! Thanks for sharing.

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  7. Several months ago, I experienced 'pay it forward' in the most surprising way. I was in the drive through line at Starbucks and the car in front of me paid for me order. I didn't know them, but the Starbucks employee told me they said to tell me they were just 'paying it forward'. It was a random act of kindness to show fellowship between stranger, but it made my day. I've paid it forward at Starbucks since then, and it really makes me feel great!

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    1. Awesome idea, Julie! Thanks for sharing!

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  8. I give to charities, and I'm also listed in the National Bone Marrow data base. In the past I did a lot of volunteer work with the homeless and poor to the extent that I have several awards for my work.

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    1. Wow, Misty! That's really awesome. Thanks for sharing.

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  9. What a wonderful story - and what a generous, kindhearted person YOU are to want to help! I wish more people would 'pay it forward'. Maybe then the world would be a better place. :)

    Great post!

    ~Marie~

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  10. What a great thing you're doing, Lily!

    In the past, but not in the last few years, I've paid it forward by volunteering with a life enrichment program. These days, I don't have a lot of spare time for things like that, so instead I've been donating to charities. I gave my old car to the Dallas Can Academy when I no longer had need of it. I've donated to the Movember campaign, which supports prostate cancer research (a disease which has affected my family). I'm donating to some local charities which support literacy, as well.

    I love Julie's idea of paying for someone else's Starbucks or something else of the sort. I'm hoping to try something like that soon. :)

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    1. These are all great ideas, Catherine! Thanks for sharing.

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  11. This story is very close to my heart. I am on the kidney transplant list. The average wait time in Austin is 6-8 years for non-rare blood types. My wait will probably be longer than that. The majority of people on the list do not have anyone who can participate in a "pay it forward" situation. People should also know that even if you check the organ donor box on your driver's license, it doesn't matter. God forbid something happens to anyone, but if it does make sure your family knows you what you want. If you want to be an organ donor, make sure your family knows. If you don't want to donate, make sure they know that too. Because whatever you've said in the past doesn't matter. Your family makes the decision.

    Also a big thank you to anyone who donates blood. Most kidney patients are severely anemic. It's one of the major symptoms of kidney failure. Over the past 3 years I have had 30 units of blood via transfusion.

    Thank you for giving kidney disease some publicity. It's not a cause that gets a lot of press.

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    1. Thanks for sharing your story, Brandi! I am sorry to hear that you are on the transplant list and pray that you will find a donor soon.

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    2. I'm just thankful dialysis exists! I've been on dialysis for 2 years. It's not fun but it's way better than the alternative.

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  12. Unfortunately, I'm not in a position yet in my life where I can give to charities. With my hubby being laid off last year we've just managed to come out of being on food stamps. But I've recently been on the receiving end of "paying it forward" by my crit partners who got together to give a little money in order for my children to have Christmas gifts this past Christmas. It was the most wonderful thing anyone has ever done for me and I really hope someday I can pay it forward.

    But I do give my old clothes and my kids clothes to church programs that give to the poor rather than giving them to "GoodWill." And I do put together a shoe box every Christmas to Operation Shoe Box that supports our troops overseas. It's a great cause and it doesn't cost much. Great post and a great cause, Lily. I really love that you're doing this.

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    1. Suzie, it's fantastic to be on the receiving end, because then you pay it forward however and whenever you can. Thanks for sharing!

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  13. My grandfather was on dialysis for 6 years, so I am very sensitive to the subject. This story was beautiful all the way around - and definitely speaks to the power of true love! Thanks for highlighting such a worthy cause :)

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    1. Wow, Erin! I had no idea your grandfather needed dialysis for so long. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your experience. :)

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  14. We adopt a family at Christmas, and donate to our church's food pantry and clothing closet. We make sure our kids understand (as much as they can) why we do this.

    You sometimes it can be the smallest of gestures--like paying for the person's drink behind you in line. Who knows what type of day they're having? You could be the one that cheers them up. :)

    I think this is so great that you are doing this blog, Lily and donating!!!

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    1. BTW, I have no idea why it says You sometimes...
      Again, Lily, wonderful post!

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    2. LOL. I'm going to go out on a limb here, Marquita... And say maybe it's because you typed "You sometimes" ;)

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    3. Whaaat?! That *can't* be the reason, Ava! ;)

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    4. LOL. Are you *sure*? 'Cause I really feel like that *might* be the reason. LMAO. You are too funny. :)

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    5. OMG, Ava, my kids are still saying that, with emphasis...I really feel like it "Might* be right.

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    6. LOL, Deb! Who knew I had so much in common with your kids. ;)

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    7. Adopting a family at Christmas is a wonderful thing to do, Marquita. It really brings the message of giving home to the kids, doesn't it? Thanks for stopping by!

      And thanks to Ava and Deb for adding six more dollars to the pot! LOL

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  15. Whenever I have a little extra cash, I shop at Goodwill instead of big stores. That way, I know my money helps others.

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    1. I love shopping at thrift stores because I know the money will go to an excellent cause, Sara. Thanks for stopping by!

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  16. I'm not in a financial position to pay-it-forward for very big things, but Minot, ND (where I live) had a very bad flood this past spring. Over 4000 homes were lost, so we have had many, many people, both local and from out of state, helping those who lost their homes. A lot of them eat at the local diner and my husband and I try to buy the meals of the volunteer rescue workers whenever we can.

    I love the idea of buying a drink or meal for the person behind you in line at Starbucks, or McDonalds, or wherever. That's something I can occasionally afford to do and it would be so much fun.

    This is a great post.

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    1. Buying meals for rescue workers is a great way to pay it forward, L.J. When wildfires hit my area this past summer, my church did a collection for the firefighters, gathering Gatorade and a bunch of other things they really needed. It felt really good to donate those items, knowing they were really needed.

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  17. Oh my gosh, Lily, I love this story. People who donate organs to help others are amazing. I hope you get lots of comments! XO

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  18. Great story and very interesting question. I do my best to be a responsible and caring citizen, and I donate to several charities regularly. I think I could do more, but I'll have to think of ways that will work for me.

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  19. I actually like participating in races that part of the entry fee goes to any cause. One thing it helps a cause and I get to run. My husband does tri-a-thons to raise funds for parkinsons since is grandma died of that.

    I know that it's not much.

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    1. Actually, that's a lot! I wish I were fit enough to run marathons. I have a lot of friends who do, and I should just get off the couch and train along with them. :) Thanks Melody!

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  20. I am in the same position as a couple others who posted above and not able to help out financially at this time. But we have donated in the past to several organizations, I always try to put money in the Salvation Army Kettles around the holidays, donate food to our local pantries and give to cancer research. But I especially love to 'spy' on the person in front of me in line at the grocery store and if they don't have enough change I will pitch in...that is fun to do. I also try to stop and help the elderly or disabled or even a overworked looking Mom with loading their groceries into their car. There are so many 'little' and easy things you can do to help someone else and brighten their day and yours too!

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  21. The pay it forward concept is a wonderful idea, and a good way to increase the number of people who receive kidneys. No doubt that someone who was given an organ they desperately needed will want to do anything they can to help others get the same life-saving help. This system is also a great testament to the true goodness of people at heart--providing hope that in crisis situations, the best of humanity will always come out.

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  22. Thanks to everyone's comments, I was able to donate $50 to the family's Fundly account. If you wish to donate as well, simply go to http://fundly.com/capotefamily. Thank you!

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